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Exhibition: Untying the Bow — Opens

March 1

mannequin with polka-dot dress with very large bow across the chest
Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada, dress, white silk taffeta with hand-painted yellow dots, spring/summer 2014, Spain, gift of Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada, 2014.44.1

March 1–24, 2024
Gallery FIT, The Museum at FIT 

Unassuming as they may seem, bows have played an indispensable role in securing garments and accessories for centuries. Experience their allure in Untying the Bow, an exhibition curated by graduate students in FIT’s Fashion and Textiles Studies MA program. Discover the ubiquitous influence of bows in our lives, transcending shoelaces to become a subtle yet powerful element of personal style.

Untying the Bow is an exploration into the utility and symbolism of this pervasive element of clothing. This exhibition invites visitors to explore the rich history, symbolism, and enduring charm of bows in fashion. It unfolds in three thematic sections, beginning by tracing the bow’s origins and delving into its form and function for utilitarian purposes. The next theme is the bow’s symbolism as a marker and subverter of status and gender. Finally, the exhibition examines how the symbolism of bows in fashion has evolved into abstract forms and patterns. Experiments with scale and technique allow bows to transcend their original form and become captivating motifs. Untying the Bow is a transformative journey, unraveling the hidden narratives and cultural expressions that have elevated the bow from a mere structural element to a timeless icon in fashion.

This exhibition is free and open to the public. 


Gallery FIT, The Museum at FIT
Fashion Institute of Technology
New York City, NY 10001 United States
212 217.4558


The Museum at FIT
(212) 217-4558